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Kelso each-way tips (1450): Cracking Rhapsody and Ballygeary in mix for assault on Morebattle Hurdle

There’s some tasty races to enjoy north of the border on Saturday, and none more so than the Morebattle Handicap Hurdle that sees 18 runners line up to contest the biggest prize on Kelso’s card.

14:50 Kelso: Bet365 Morebattle Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 51 yards)

With no fewer than 15 of those capable hurdlers available at double-digit odds, we’re clearly tiptoeing through something of a betting minefield, but with five places widely available (as many as six in places), then there must surely be some each-way value lurking in the wings.

It’s easy to make a case for either of the two market leaders, but at odds of 4 or 5/1, neither Under Control nor Black Hawk Eagle hold much appeal, despite their obvious credentials to make a bold bid here.

Dan Skelton’s Skycutter looks much more attractive at around 7/1 if he can overcome the six-pound raise he earned after a tidy 5-length win in a 10-runner handicap over a slightly shorter trip at Carlisle four weeks ago.

Planet Sport Bet Daily Special: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Ballygeary finishes in the first 4 places, get a £5 Free Bet

It would be unwise to discount top-weighted Benson, who won this with room to spare last year and is unlikely to relinquish his crown willingly. Ryan Mania was on board that day and he returns to the saddle after also guiding Sandy Thomson’s nine-year-old into Musselburgh’s winning circle on New Year’s Day.

Arguments could be made for just about any of the remaining 14 contenders to make the frame, and while outsiders like Caithness, Geronimo and Ginger Mail have received a smattering of support among the each-way specialists in the Tipstrr camp, two in particular appear to have caught their collective eye for outsider value.

Lining up for Ewan Whillans is Cracking Rhapsody, who won on his second bumper outing last June, and has since made a smooth transition to hurdles, landing two wins and two runner-up spots in his four attempts over obstacles.

His last two outings have been over this course and distance, most recently 15 days ago when he turned around January’s second behind the reopposing Ginger Mail, to edge home by a neck, and with Craig Nichol back in the saddle, this promising five-year-old could well be ready to rubberstamp that form here

Suggested each-way bet (1): Cracking Rhapsody in the 14:50 at Kelso

 

At a similar price, any horse under three-time champion jockey Brian Hughes should merit serious consideration, especially at a course at which he has squeezed almost half of his last 300+ rides into the frame, including 54 winners.

Here he takes the reins of Donald McCain’s bottom-weighted Ballygeary, who is another to have taken readily to obstacles, winning each of his first three hurdling efforts, including over this course and distance last March.

He returned from a six-month summer break to finish a very respectable third of 18 in a conditional handicap at Cheltenham in October, since when he landed a two-horse race at Bangor before finishing runner-up of 11 at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day.

He was far from disgraced when finishing fifth of 13 in the Scottish County Hurdle at the same venue a month ago, just four lengths adrift of the victorious Afadil, with Benson just a length in front, and with first-time cheekpieces now applied he could well carry Hughes to another frame finish here.

Suggested each-way bet (2): Ballygeary in the 14:50 at Kelso

 

 

READ MORE: Harry Cobden appraises his seven Newbury rides in his Planet Sport Bet blog

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